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Financial Freedom: Every Little Bit Counts

24 May
Financial Freedom: Every Little Bit Counts

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend about my income activities. Since becoming self-employed, I take on a lot of random opportunities that lead to (some) of my bills getting paid. Tutoring, taking surveys for ClearView research, managing small projects for individuals, and my unemployment check is how I currently survive. Paycheck to paycheck is an understatement. 

My friend went on to explain that she and her husband budget their lives based on one income without even maxing their expenses at the top of that salary. I was flabbergasted! How was this possible?

After describing her family’s financial history, it became clear that she learned to manage money by observing the ebbs and flows of her parent’s financial maintenance. At that moment, I realized that I too learned from watching my mother maneuver financial sources like a chess game each month (I will save that lesson for a future entry).

My friend had learned financial management better than I did, and now I have some catching up to do. 

I don’t think it’s too late. In my late 20’s I can actually visualize my financial freedom. I am on a two-year plan that involves learning all that Suze Orman has to teach.

On a daily basis I figure out how I to practically cut corners and save on my most common expenses. One thing I have started doing is using coupons to save on purchases at grocery stores.

Also, on my previous post, Shaped by Budget: Aligning Goals With Personal Finance, Ruben Berenguel commented that I should figure out how to increase my income instead of being confined to what I currently take home.

Since then, I have consistently found ways to make more money. The additional income, whether it be $20 or $60, helps cover mandatory expenses, including gas and groceries.

In the comment section, please share some of your convenience saving tips or legal ways to make a few bucks quickly.

Below is an article from Shrinkage is Good by Jonathan Rivers. The post contains cost saving tips on common expenses.

http://www.billshrink.com/blog/1062/the-cost-of-convenience-10-things-we-overpay-for/

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5 responses to “Financial Freedom: Every Little Bit Counts

  1. Michelle Cox

    May 24, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Well Ashley, as you may know I learned a lot about myself as I prepared to give the biggest donation of my life this past April. What I learned that was most valuable to me was the fact that I fancied myself with purchasing high end things when I could get generic brands for a fraction of the price.

    For instance, I was spending $150.00 per month for named brand facial products. Yes, $150.00. I would shell out $75.00 for a facial and then another $75.00 for cleansers, astringents, and moisturizers. However, when forced to save, I begin using a regime from Walmart that has never left my face more refreshed and healthy, and might I add that it cost me a mere $15.00 per month. A saving of $100.00.

    I was under the impression, ” the more you spend the better the product!” UNTRUE!!!!! Generic frosted flakes taste just as good as Kellogg’s, and Great Value 4-in-1 bathroom cleaner gets your bathroom just as sparkling and Clorox Clean-Up!

     
  2. K. Sidney

    May 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Oh, you said “legal”? Nevermind then.

    Seriously though, my lifestyle doesn’t require much spending. I’m an artist so I entertain myself through writing. No need for cable TV or movie night. My home is very basic and so are my amenities. I have a job that can put me in a much better apartment with much better electronics, but I like living with a couple extra hundred dollars in my pocket after all the bills are paid. I can live it up when I have enough saved to retire.

     
    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      May 25, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Keith,

      I am glad that you can see the bigger goal. It has taken a while for me to stop living in the right now and looking toward the future the financial aspects of my life. I will say that living in Chicago does it make it difficult to focus on the future. There are so many opportunities in this city that scream “take advantage of me” while I’m here. Unless your eye is on the prize, it can be challenging. But I am focused and you be sure to stay focused.

       

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